This is the key rookie card of one of baseball's most consistent hitters. Tony Gwynn, the San Diego Padre favorite, is considered by many to be the best pure hitter of the last 30 years, and his numbers certainly support that belief. Gwynn won a total of eight NL batting titles (only Ty Cobb won more) and finished with a career batting average of .338. This 15-time All-Star made a run at .400 in 1994, but the season was cut short by a strike, leaving Gwynn and his fans wondering if he would have made it. In addition to his excellence with the bat, Gwynn was an outstanding baserunner with 319 stolen bases (he had a career-high of 56 in 1987) and fielder with five Gold Gloves for his work in right field. Gwynn was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame along with Cal Ripken, Jr. in 2007 and, like Ripken, Gwynn played his entire career with one team, a rarity in the modern era. While Gwynn does have other rookie cards in the Donruss and Fleer sets, this Topps issue is his most desirable. It is also rather difficult to find well-centered.
Anthony Keith Gwynn (May 9, 1960 - June 16, 2014) tied Honus Wagner and the National League record in 1997 with his eighth career batting title with an average of .372. Gwynn played his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres (1982-2001) earning the name “Mr. Padre.” His preparation and study of the game was renown as he spent hours using video to analyze his swing and any little adjustments that needed to be made during his next at-bat. Along with Gwynn’s eight batting titles, he led the National League in hits seven times and runs and on base percentage once each. Tony was a perennial All-Star selection with 15 trips to the Mid-Summer Classic. He won five Gold Gloves and seven Silver Slugger Awards. Though a member of two Padre teams to take the National League pennant (1984, 1998), he never won a World Series title, despite doing his best by batting .371 with 13 hits. Tony Gwynn retired in 2001 after posting a career .338 batting average with 3,141 hits, 1,383 runs, 1,138 RBI and 319 stolen bases. A fierce hitter all-around, Gwynn also posted a .987 fielding percentage in right field over his career. Anthony Keith Gwynn was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.